Tragic clashes between the Shilluk and Nuer ethnic groups have resulted in the loss of at least 13 lives and left 21 individuals wounded at a United Nations site in South Sudan dedicated to safeguarding displaced civilians. The violence erupted on Thursday morning at the Malakal site, catching both the authorities and inhabitants off guard.
Amidst the prevailing tension and fears of a resumption of hostilities, Yoannes Kimo, the deputy chairperson representing the displaced people at the site, expressed concerns about the uncertain situation. The exact cause of the clashes remains unclear, further exacerbating the already precarious circumstances.
Responding to the incident, the United Nations office in South Sudan issued a statement urging for calm and order. According to their initial reports, the fighting commenced with a stabbing, resulting in three reported fatalities. In response, the UN mission has bolstered military and police presence in the area, closely cooperating with the national military and local authorities.
The recurrence of deadly violence among ethnic groups and communities highlights the ongoing challenges faced by South Sudan, even years after the signing of a peace agreement in 2018 to end a protracted five-year civil war. The conflict had compelled thousands of individuals to seek refuge within U.N. protection sites, underscoring the urgency to address the underlying causes of interethnic tensions and work towards sustainable peace in the region.
(With AP Inputs)